October 30, 2016
On this pleasant Sunday afternoon in Ulm, my friends and hosts, Mark and Christine have offered to drive me and my cousin Diana to Blautopf.
It’s a sparkling sunny day. The late autumn leaves retain their intense reds and golds. Outside Ulm, the rolling wooded hills and valley farmlands are mostly bright green.
Blautopf in German means Blue Pot, not exactly an enchanting name for what is purported to be a scenic spot with an unusual underground geological formation.
Yet “Blue Pot” is surely an apt name for the lovely round pond, the center of attraction here. Folks stroll through the woods and around the pond, shoot the obligatory selfie, and wander back to Blaubeuren for a coffee and cake.
And what a cake! The town specialty is Chestnut Cake. Our small group finds a table. Mark orders “Coffee and Chestnut Cake.” Christine, “Tea and Chestnut Cake.” Diana, “Hot chocolate and Chestnut Cake.” Jan, “Coffee and Chestnut Cake!”
The Prehistoric Museum of Blaubeuren has a display of what are reported to be some of the oldest known musical instruments and carvings. One of the instruments is a flute carved from swan’s bones; the miniature stone figures are remarkable for their form and detail.
The museum also screens a film describing the underground water system.
I have to admit that on occasion I use the Internet to confirm facts and spelling. But for more detail regarding Blautopf, please refer to the Wikipedia article.
Briefly, Blautopf is the source of myth and legend: the water is deep, and the underground formations are cavernous, intricate, flooded and dangerous.
Read the article to discover why the Blautopf pond water is intensely blue … or not. (Think “nanoscale limestone.”)
While the Chestnut Cake was a highlight of the trip today, my next stop in Germany is Nuremberg where I plan to stock up on Nuremberg Lebkuchen – a childhood holiday favorite.